World Lit only by Fire Reading Journal

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  • Topic: Pope, Pope Alexander VI, Rome
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Reading Journal: A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance – Portrait of an Age.

Medieval Mind
P.7: The Dark Ages brought war, famine, high crime, and widespread ignorance to the once thriving Roman Empire. P.8: Civil wars were waged across the Roman Empire to quell different interpretations on Catholicism. P.9: The pious Saint Augustine orchestrated one of the first Great Works that set the foundations to the Medieval Mind. The “Decivitate Dei” was created to denounce the old Roman ways of promiscuity. P.11: In the early thirteenth century, papal influence peaked under the guidance of Pope Innocent III. Ascension of the social ladder was most easily done by worship of Christ. P.13: The Church adopts old pagan traditions in hope of transitioning those who still had faith in the old Roman Gods. P.14: Emperor Leo III of the Byzantine Empire denounced the integration of pagan traditions especially attempts to render holy figures into image. He considered these acts as vile sacrilege and ordered all religious arts to be destroyed. P.16: Economically, the empire was shattered. The rich and noble rose while the serfs and the unhealthy remained known as common rabble. P.21: It was widely believed among religious figures of the Church that the creation of the papacy was a divine creation. For this reason they believed that adding or changing any of the dogmas that were the basis of the papacy was heresy. They made it a priority to keep the beliefs of the Church intact. P.22: Widespread lack of identity due to the Church’s desire to keep the people in line with Catholicism. P.23: Differences between centuries seemed minimal considering the lack of innovation or any change whatsoever in how the Church conducted its affairs. P.25: Christendom began to parish as many nations in Europe began to realize national identity and free thinking. P.26: During the birth of the Renaissance, the most influential men became the scholars, the writers, and the philosophers. Identifications - “The Medieval Mind”

Major People
In medieval times, the most important people revolved around the church. Popes, cardinals, pontiffs, knights, and the rich nobleman all had the luxuries that no one else could afford. Over the centuries of the medieval ages they were replaced, killed, and birthed countless times. However, the society was still based in such a way that the rich people surrounding the Church had the most influence. Above all these people, the Pope pulled most of the strings. Major Places

Considering the lack of expansion during the Medieval Ages, the most important places to the Europeans was only Europe. There was a borderline of what areas of the land were frequented by inhabitants of the Roman Empire and where they would not live due to lack of control over crimes. Some areas were even considered haunted by demons to keep the people within the Empire’s boundaries. The rise and fall of Christendom happened in Rome. The Crusades for the Holy Land started in Rome. The most influential member of the Empire lived within the landlocked Holy See inside Rome. The centuries that passed during the Medieval Ages were peppered with events that were only relevant to Rome and the Church. Important Dates and Events

I believe one of the most important dates was the publication of the manuscript “De Civitate Dei” by Saint Augustine circa 426 AD. It set the basis for the hatred towards old Roman traditions that fueled the Church’s domain over the people for the next coming centuries. It defined the opinions of the nobles (mostly nobles were literate; very little of the lower classes were) to shape the Medieval Ages. Along with the nobles went the ignorant masses of the poor that did what they were told in order to survive through the sufferings that they all had to live through. Unfamiliar Words

Interregnum – A gap in social and governmental order.
Nicene Creed – Mainstream definition of Christianity.